On Wednesday past, I could see rainfall to the northwest and an accompanying rainbow, even though the sun was shining down on me. The new month is but a few days old, the new season a few weeks old, and thus far the season has shown great kindness, at least in our little korner of the world. The trees are lovely in their autumnal array - bold reds, vivid oranges, burnished russets, golden yellow and a few that make me wonder if my aging eyes are viewing an optical illusion as they are such a deep beet red to show almost purple! Beautiful in their oddity. This year’s is an autumn I can revel in – swishing through fallen leaves much as I did in childhood, feeling the tickle as the brisk winds lift my hair. My shadow may look like Medusa, but it feels good, that wind-tossed spicy scent all around me, even as the late afternoon sun slants through trees still showing green.
Spring and summer have not been easy in this year of 2019. And in any case, for me autumn usually brings a peace that defies understanding. It is, and always has been, my favorite of the seasons. Perhaps because my birth took place under an October sky? Or is it just that everything seems more alive come autumn? That’s a bit of backward thinking there, but for me that sweet/sour wind that often blows at night, and the high-clouded blue skies that often show during the day, bring a feeling of urgency. While in summer we can do much labor, we can also laze in the sun; a contented cat. As autumn sets in we know what will soon follow – the deep sleep of winter’s icy cold and snow. Perfect autumn days such as we’ve been experiencing of late are a last chance to dance lightly across the face of our favorite places, for we will soon be encumbered, clothed against that icy blast and mounting snow.
So I breathe deeper those earthy smells that will soon be hidden ‘neath a white blanket. I listen more closely to wind sighing through the pines or roaring through the maples or the swish and crunch of leaves ‘neath my feet. I exercise my eyes, looking far - an eagle circling what seems like miles above me, a flock of geese in southward vee, the expanse of color laid out as I traverse a country road.
Once the trees have fully turned, even the inside of the house, or at least the rooms facing north, will be bathed in a golden glow thanks to the large maple standing on the north side of the driveway. It’s almost magical how it can make the house shine from the inside out - much like a pumpkin, candle inside, lit for Halloween - even at high noon.
The joys and pleasures of summer are a memory held dear. New joys and pleasures are taking place in the moment that will be added to the banks of memory - the sight of a rainbow far off, or the maple leaves accumulating on the still-green grass (time to haul out the leaf blower for some fun).
I’ll walk the footpaths and roadways in my quiet revelry, cook plum jelly and apple sauce, and bask in autumn’s windblown days. Yes, an autumn state of mind is indeed a fine place to be.